Bob Richards: ‘Cayman Situation Is A Warning’

July 28, 2012

“Bermuda should take heed of what is happening in Cayman Islands, where its Government is being compelled by the UK to raise taxes because of excessive debt,” Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards said.

Earlier this month their local media reported that the Cayman Islands will be introducing a 10% tax for foreign workers earning over $20,000 per year. Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush said he did not want to impose the tax, but he had no choice because the United Kingdom was demanding a sustainable budget.

Premier Paula Cox responded saying: “While Cayman has been forced to consolidate their finances, Bermuda has already taken plans to stabilise our fiscal position over the medium term.”

Mr Richards said: “Bermuda should take heed of what is happening in Cayman Islands, where its Government is being compelled by the UK to raise taxes because of excessive debt.

“This extraordinary situation is driven by the fact that the United Kingdom has “contingent liability” for the debt of its Overseas Territories, meaning that creditors can turn to it in the event a Territory defaults or goes bankrupt.

“Bermuda is, of course, a UK Overseas Territory. We’re not sure if the UK Government is concerned about Bermuda’s debt situation, but the fact that Finance Minister Paula Cox has presided over an 800% increase in Government debt since 2004/05 must concern every Bermudian.

“If the Government’s appetite for more debt continues at its record-setting pace – just in the last month we’ve taken on $180 million more debt – then the risk of external intervention in our financial affairs can only grow.

“It is interesting to note that the UK is requiring Cayman to get onto a financial footing that is sustainable, meaning it must bring its revenue and spending situation into better balance. According to 2011/12 figures reported in The Bermuda Sun today, nearly one quarter of every dollar the Government spends is borrowed.

“In 2004/05, when the current Finance Minister was appointed, just 3 cents of every dollar Government spent was borrowed. Clearly, by these measures, Bermuda is not moving in the right direction,” continued Mr Richards.

“With the exception of the last six to seven years, Bermuda has always demonstrated a strong degree of responsibility in the management of its public finances. It is long past time we got back to a more responsible and sustainable path.

“The One Bermuda Alliance has an economic recovery plan that combines pro-growth policies to increase the Island’s revenues and a commitment to cut wasteful spending. Putting Bermuda on a stronger financial footing will create more opportunity for Bermudians and provide us with the resources to meet the Island’s social challenges,” concluded Mr Richards.

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  1. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    when will you all accept that fact that the national debt can never be repaid...no amount of taxations on such a small community could bail us out ....theres only one way and that is to sell your A$$(Bda.) Unfortunately its a world wide situation that will affect us without a doubt...get ready for third world status
    Capitalistic societies all around the globe have reached its peak now its downward fall will be catastrophic to life as you have been accustomed to...theres soooooo much more to be revealed ........

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    • Mad Dawg says:

      Until 2005 debt stayed constant. It was payed off as it fell due, and any new debt remained under control. In the past 5 years the PLP has attempted to brainwash us with the idea that debt good; debt is inevitable; debt is necessary. All nonsense. There is nothing good, necessary or inevitable about debt. In fact, debt is bad, and in Bermuda's case it was completely unnecessary.

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    • pepper says:

      And it wiill all out very soon...stay tuned...

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    • Cleancut says:

      The only way forward right now is to vote the OBA in. The big players in Bermuda that keep us alive know exactly who they will be dealing with if the PLP return to Government. People like Paula Cox, Col. Burch, Commissiong, Walton Brown are all liabilities. Eventually they will hang up their hats. How many Bermudians will get their walking papers 6 months after a PLP victory? Dollars and sense!!!!

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  2. Undecided Voter says:

    “The One Bermuda Alliance has an economic recovery plan that combines pro-growth policies to increase the Island’s revenues and a commitment to cut wasteful spending"
    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Bob please come better then this and tell the people the truth!!!!!!!!!

    When will you accept the fact that this is a game neither the PLP or UBP/OBA can make things better. We will always have race & money issues. War is started in different parts of the World because of what people believe to be true or false. Bottom line is the economy will not improve on this 21 mile square Island until things get better in the super power countries. Hmmm Bermuda is not on the list!

    United States Of America
    United Kingdom
    China
    Russia
    India
    Japan
    Saudi Arabia

    So Bob stop going around and making Sh#$ up. It took you 48 hours to come up with more BULL S%#@ to feed the undecided voters. The PLP has slowed down in the water and the OBA is losing steam. Soon both parties will be neck and neck. Then members on both sides will be using oars to paddle to the finish line.

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    • Shaking the Head says:

      @ Undecided Voter. Taken from the prospectus written on behalf of the PLP when Bermuda raised $475million (last month):

      In general, the policies of the PLP, a pro-democracy, multiracial organization with predominantly black supporters, are relatively similar to those of the OBA. The PLP's mission consists of promoting equal opportunities for all citizens and improving the regulatory environment in the international business sector. The OBA, a pro business, moderate and multiracial organization, is founded on the principles of "opportunity, responsibility, integrity, transparency, fairness, inclusiveness and service."

      I'm not making this up, but this is what the PLP is telling the world, as opposed to telling voters locally. Makes one think, doesn't it?

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      • J Starling says:

        I think you'll find that was written by civil servants, not the PLP.

        However, I do think there isn't much difference between the two really anyway, at least in political-economic terms. Maybe one's slightly more Keynesian than the other, but only marginally so. The main difference is in their support base and positions (or lack of) on race.

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        • Shaking the Head says:

          With all respect, written by is not the same as written on behalf of, and please let's get away from race.

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          • J Starling says:

            I would love it if we could get away from race, but wishing it is one thing and realising it is another altogether. Whether we like it or not there continues to be racial inequalities from the past, and there are also important psychological ramifications from it too.

            My point in referring to it being written by civil servants is that the way you phrased it the PLP was contradicting itself. They haven't. One is part of a political party's electoral campaign, the other is from a civil servant report attempting to provide a non-political, non-emotive objective overview to investors.

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            • Shaking the Head says:

              So you saying that the political scene as seen by civil servants is different to that portrayed by the governing party? Not that that would be unusual, but merely highlights the stupity of politics and how dysfunctional and damaging it is to the electorate, in this case Bermuda. The civil servants viewpoint contradicts all that the PLP publicly ridicule the Opposition over. No wonder Bermuda pays many base points over what it should for its bonds. As an outside investoo the political risks, and extra costs needed, are clear.

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              • Argosy says:

                The big difference is that Cabinet Ministers and MPs of the OBA would not have remained deaf & mute while individual Ministers, including the Premier, engaged in "unethical but not illegal" behaviour.

                And that difference,one would like to believe, should be a deciding factor in a society which whould like to be governed by:"... a pro business, moderate and multiracial organization, ... founded on the principles of “opportunity, responsibility, integrity, transparency, fairness, inclusiveness and service.”

                End of story!

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    • Hmmmmmmm says:

      PLP have been moving us bAckwards in the financial waters for some time now. What the hell do you mean standing still. They fooled you!

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    • Shoo shoo says:

      Bermudais not a financial world leader its debt is unnecessary ask Beyonce !

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    • Head up high! says:

      Maybe so but the PLP has proven that it has the ability and is responsible for making things this bad to begin with!

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    • Cleancut says:

      I have Bermuda's national anthem in mind when the PLP takes us into poverty, and our ties with Briton are eventually cut, "Don't worry be happy"

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    • I AGREE says:

      Bermuda would never make the list, but must comply during the enforcement of One Order, regardless if run by OBA UBP, PLP, or Parkside.
      You can't see the way the the world is going. Prophecy is fulfilling.
      Acknowledge the CREATOR!!!!

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    • Who Done it says:

      I'm confused you do not sound undecided? Sounds like someone pretending to be undecided trying to stir the pot.

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  3. J Starling says:

    I think the OBA needs to start tacking on to their PR releases some outlines of their policies. I mean, from at least what is reported above, Mr. Richards ends his epistle with 'the OBA has an economic recovery plan...' but although he goes on a bit about it, he doesn't actually say anything concrete in terms of policy. Just some nice-sounding rhetoric which doesn't commit them to anything.

    Maybe they think that's a smart political move (one can't critique them if one doesn't know what they stand for - like nailing jello to a wall - not that I know why I'd be nailing jello to a wall in the first place mind), but it leaves them wide-open to accusations of not having a plan, just a fantasy. If they're trying to please everyone by not taking a stand, at most they excite their choir with rhetoric, get the PLPers to rage on and on about the lack of policy, and the independents to keep rolling their eyes.

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    • pepper says:

      So... MR,Starling do you own a home in Bermuda ? or have any money tied up here ?
      or have a family to support ? it is easy for you sit back and spew your rhetoric in another country, but we have to live here and see what the P.L.P. have done to our economy.....we can not rent our apt, because the exempt companies are leaving or have left, the restaurants are having a hard time to survive,....but you sir sit back in you chair and talk a lot of crap.

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      • J Starling says:

        And I live overseas for now with the intention of coming back, so the situation of the country does concern me. As for property, I'm unfortunately not from either a rich family or a property-owning family. I would love to own a piece of the rock one day, but even with the depression in property markets I can't see how I'll ever afford it...

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        • pepper says:

          Did you not come back to Bermuda and have a hard time looking for a job ?

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          • J Starling says:

            Yes, I was on island for seven months last year, and worked a number of part-time jobs before being offered a three-year studentship in Scotland. I'm sure if I'd stayed I'd have found a full-time position. There were full-time positions I could have taken up, but they weren't in my field, and I was holding out for a better fit to my skills set.

            Nonetheless, what does any of that have to do with what I wrote initially, or me having an opinion about events in my country where I seek to return and use what I've learned overseas to the benefit of the country?

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            • Hmmmmmmm says:

              So Bermuda was not able to offer you gainful e,ployment in your field. Your country failed you, or you failed your country?,

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              • J Starling says:

                We can talk about me if you really want to, but I fail to see how doing so speaks to my point that Mr. Richards and the OBA are quick to say they have a plan but slow to spell out any policy. I think that's a fair criticism, and it's easy enough for them to resolve.

                As for me, I wouldn't say either situation (country failing me or me failing country) is applicable. Timing was a bit off - I was expecting to get more international experience and came home prematurely for various reasons.

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                • Hmmmmmmm says:

                  So you failed. Good for you in admitting your short comings

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                  • J Starling says:

                    Okay 'Hmmmm' whatever floats your boat. Well done on failing to tackle any substantive discourse and instead to revert to kindergartenism. Bravo. LOL.

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                  • andre says:

                    Hmmm you are an as*hole! Starling is trying to have good conversation and you are being a jacka$s!!!

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                • street wise says:

                  "Mr. Richards and the OBA are quick to say they have a plan but slow to spell out any policy. I think that’s a fair criticism, and it’s easy enough for them to resolve."

                  And the plp plan is....?????

                  C'mon, Jon, you know what the deal is. We have discussed this to death on another forum. You know full well that the OBA will not release its plan for Bermuda's recovery until an election is called.

                  Why give away good ideas to a Party who has run out of ideas? In reality, the plp never had any good ideas in the first place and flip-flopped on most of the shallow policy they did institute.

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      • J Starling says:

        And what 'load of crap' did I write? You haven't addressed one thing that I wrote, you only attacked me, and badly at that (what rhetoric did I spew for example?). Let's have a little more respect and decorum and a little less gnashing of teeth please...

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        • pepper says:

          You accused Bob Richards, of rhetoric... so you need to have some respect..

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          • J Starling says:

            Yes, and I backed up my argument and explained that rather than mere rhetoric (we have a plan) it would be nice if he/they provided an outline of policies they would implement. And since when is 'rhetoric' a vile word? It's useful, I just said it would be good to add some policy ideas with it.

            So, I'm hardly 'spewing rhetoric' that, instead, was the argument I made about Mr. Richards. Instead I presented what I thought was a pretty respectful argument.

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            • longtail says:

              Bob's rhetoric is no better and certainly no worse than Paula's statement "Bermuda has already taken plans to stabilise our fiscal position over the medium term" - after more than 8 years as Minister she has a "plan" (but apparently cannot tell us what it is!!!!!)

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              • J Starling says:

                I don't necessarily dispute. But the OBA was the focus of the article, and my criticism - though seen it seems as a pro-PLP attack - was merely an observation that if the OBA really wants to get the swing vote they need to be more than not-the-PLP and give at least an outline of their policies to back up their plans. It would be easy enough - I would have thought - to have just tacked on some brief policy outlines (they can be fleshed out later) to the end of speeches where they say 'we have a plan'. The same would of course go to the PLP when they do the same.

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                • longtail says:

                  Fully agree with you - the OBA need to be more than "not-the-PLP party"... At present my vote would be not be so much as one 'for the OBA' but rather one 'against the PLP'.

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              • Argosy says:

                Who cares to hear what her plan is?

                We don't need to know any more detail than the fact that....it's NOT WORKING!!

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            • Mad Dawg says:

              Anyway, you're wrong. In 2006 and 2007 Bob Richards was sounding warning bells and making suggestions constantly as the mortgage crisis was developing. He was telling the government that it would develop into a much wider crisis, and that we should conserve resources, minimise borrowing, that sort of thing.

              What response did he get? "you're making mischief. You don't understand. Bermuda is fine. Bermuda is different. We don't want your opinion'.

              So now we're in a mess and you think that every comment made by the OBA should have a list of suggestions. You're immature about it. The OBA does make suggestions. It does have policies. It has articulated them for years. The PLP has ignored them, or when it hears OBA suggesting reducing debt, we get responses like "they would rather have us all unemployed".

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      • Weak!! says:

        Pepper I can see that your the dumb one! Companies are closing in all parts of the World. What makes Bermuda so different. Shut the F%#$ up and stop being a blind white sheep. If you would say the PLP has been soft on crime, I with you on that point, but my sister work for an exempt company and I can tell you their choice to place the companies business and down size had nothing to do with the PLP government of Bermuda.

        Take that keyboard out of you're A## and stick to the truth! PLP is a black party and the UBP/OBA is a white party.

        One party uses blacks for blacks, the other fronts blacks for the whites.

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        • Argosy says:

          Be "strong" and tell us what you think is behind a certain Mr. W. Brown owning more than half of Bermuda?

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        • Come Correct says:

          I think you mean one party uses blacks for themselves and the other party fronts blacks for blacks. Not sure if you have noticed this yet but the plp have sold out and rode on the backs of the very people they brainwash into voting for them using race and hate while whispering false promises the whole ride. Its somewhat comparable to being sodemised by your government, while through your blood sweat and tears they lean over and say "got mine" before they pull out and leave. You belittle the oba but haven't even given them the chance, the same ubp you say, well I somewhat agree but it us still different and so are the times. Has the plp in any way made things easier for you? Are your parents better off? Your aunty? Uncle? Is his name pastor leroy bean? We should really sit down and write out all the ways that 160g could have helped, I don't know, let's say single mothers, how many grocery baskets could 160g fill? How long would it take you to make 160g? Probably close to 5 years for me. Well mr bean made it in 1 year on top of his other salary by simply TALKING TO HIS F@CKIN SELF! Dropthe race bs, white and back have been over long ago, its rich and poor now.

          "Same bread for you, the same for me, while we make them live ina luxery"

          Without evil there is no good, without poor there can be no rich, you really think they're looking to help us? Tht goes for any government, watch them.

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        • pepper says:

          So Weak, you say that you can see that I AM DUMB... do you know what colour I am ?why are you so hooked up on colour, I am not a blind white sheep...you need to pay attention to what your goverment is doing to you brother.
          you need to take the key board out of your a**... i hope one day we can all be as one... let us stop this black and white sh*t .. enough is enough.. we are all Bermudians so let us be proud,.....

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    • Onion Soup says:

      The OBA is smart to not lay all their cards on the table. If they reveal details of their plans for spearheading a recovery in Bermuda, especially if those plans had any hope of success, you can bet the farm that the PLP would hijack those plans and announce that their own very similar program was already in the works. In the current situation, I believe any person with any brains at all will realize that the PLP has sold them down the river and the only hope of getting out of the cesspit we're currently in lies with the OBA. Voting the PLP back into power will be the kiss of death for Bermuda, a risk nobosy should be willing to take.

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  4. Cold As Ice says:

    Why doesn't Bob Richards sit down and give it a rest already? Some of the things he says make sense, but mostly he's trying to whip Bermudians up into a mass panic about our state of affairs. It's like the OBA is throwing everything in the arena of scare tactics at us in the hope that something will stick.

    He says: "...We’re not sure if the UK Government is concerned about Bermuda’s debt situation..." Well, clearly they aren't concerned or else they'd be taking the same position with us as they're taking with Cayman, don't ya think? If they aren't taking that action, then I'd assume they aren't concerned. I'm sure they didn't just drop that zinger in Cayman's lap overnight-I'm sure there were discussions and notice first. If Bermuda were in that position I'm sure the Governor would have been informed by now and it wouldn't be something the PLP Gov't would be allowed to hide from us!

    The OBA (MPs and members) is full of business and home owners. Why aren't they selling their businesses and homes and getting the hey out of here while the goings good if they think Bermuda is in such a bad state? Why are the Banks (one owned by a prominent political family)handing out millions of dollars worth of loans to build/buy property in Bermuda-property that would be deemed worthless if Bermuda was about to go belly-up-each and every week? Are we to assume that the Banks are stupid or careless? The fact that they hand out these loans believing they will get a return on these loans proves that Bermuda is still safe financially. The fact that businesses pour millions of dollars into Bermuda proves they see Bermuda as a good investment and that Bermuda is still safe financially.

    One OBA MP while talking about the dire straits Bermuda is in financially was building a multi-million dollar warehouse for his business. Why do that if Bermuda was about to go belly-up? A member of Mr. Richards own family is building a home as we speak (anyone can check the planning records to verify this-they're a matter of public record)-why would Mr. Richards allow this close family member to throw his money away if Bermuda was about to go belly-up and the property was going to be worthless? Wouldn't he advise this close family member against this if he truly believed all these doom and gloom stories he's putting out there?

    The OBA is playing on the average man's fears. I won't deny that Bermuda's financial affairs need help, but this situation would have arisen no matter who was in power and the OBA knows it. They claim to be so full of great ideas to 'fix' Bermuda so let's hear them. They won't say what they are because either they aren't that great or they're afraid the PLP will use them and get credit for them. If it's the latter then shame on them-if they care so much about Bermuda as they claim, they'd WANT these ideas to be implemented to the benefit of all. If their ideas aren't as great as they claim, they're not telling us because they want to bullsip us into voting for them based on some grand scheme to fix everything, only for it to be anticlimactic and worthless when they get in. Either way, they're full of it as far as I'm concerned.

    Mr. Richards-take a break...we're not buying what you're selling...nice try, though.

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    • Shoo shoo says:

      To cold as ice Ur already brain washed the titanic is going down believe it look around and wake up !
      If what u see is the right direction ? Get help!

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      • street wise says:

        Watch the exodus of wealthy black & white Bermudians if the plp are re-elected. Third World, here we come!!

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    • pepper says:

      You may not be paying attention cold as ice... but we that have a brain are paying attention...I think your brain might be frozen !!! you need to defrost..

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      • Cold As Ice says:

        It's not a case of 'having a frozen brain.' That's the problem with your type-you think that we don't have any intelligence. I'm stating the facts-the OBA is cunning and full of it. Instead of constantly attacking the PLP, let's hear what they have to offer. So far, they haven't said where they stand on ANYTHING. People like you just follow them because they are a re-branded UBP so just admit it. Who the hell do they think they're fooling? They're full of the same people and sticking the same former UBP MP's to run in safe seats yet expect us to believe that they're a 'new' party? Give me a break!

        You have the nerve to tell me that my 'brain is frozen' and other childish insults. What I want to know is: how do you know that this 'new ' party is going to be the saving grace for Bermuda? Answer that one question. You're putting all your faith in a 'new' party with the belief that they can save us, but how can you know that? They have no experience and they haven't been the government before. How do we know for sure that this 'brand new' party is capable of doing anything? Again, they have NO experience! We don't know where they stand on the issues or if they're even capable of running a country successfully...

        If you have so much faith in a brand new party with ZERO experience, then it is for one reason and one reason only-because they're not a 'new' party at all but a repackaged version of the UBP, so THAT is the only reason why you believe with such conviction that they can lead Bermuda-because they've done it before.

        Either you OBA supporters are extremely foolish in putting your faith in a new party with no governing experience, or you know that they're the UBP in disguise. So tell me-which one is it?!!!

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        • Moojun says:

          It's simple. We essentially have a two party system in Bermuda. If the party in power is failing the country, then we have to vote for... drum roll please... the other party.

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          • Argosy says:

            That's far too complicated for sheep to grasp!

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            • Come Correct says:

              I'm inclined to belive that.

              They’re (oba I'm guessing you mean)full of the same people and sticking the same former UBP MP’s to run in safe seats yet expect us to believe that they’re a ‘new’ party? Give me a break!

              Ok take your break...the funny part is if you replace "they're" and "ubp" with plp, both statements make would sense. Plps running the same old. Leroy to call out the newest... Honestly I'm not voting FOR anyone at the next election, but I will exercise my right and vote AGAINST this government.

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            • E. Brooks says:

              Who are these sheep you speak of ? I have been disappointed by some of the things that have been happening here in Bermuda in the pass few years like many others. I waited like a child does for Christmas for the OBA candidate to be announced in my constituency. He called and said if we wanted to talk about anything we should call him and make an appointment....ok. My current MP has been stopping by every so often for YEARS not just when and election is coming up....I see him picking up trash in the neighbourhood.....He attends the churches in the area and beyond and most importantly.....he gets things done. I want a choice and I really want to know what the future will hold under OBA leadership but they aren't saying anything. Giving a party a chance just to give them a chance seems like something a stupid person would do. Just so you know MY life hasn't been crappy under the PLP Government and I haven't been given any special favors by them. I am only speaking for me - not the rest of the "sheep".

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              • Cold As Ice says:

                The OBA is full of cliques...I've noticed it myself and heard it from people inside the OBA. With all the grumblings and rumblings behind the scene, I expect they'll implode and come back calling themselves something else again.

                They've already proven themselves to be prone to both cronyism and nepotism-plus they're unreliable. The OBA party leader's sister who is running in my sister's area made an appointment to come back and visit my sister's home. My sister sat at home waiting-this woman didn't show and didn't even have the decency to call to say she couldn't make it (and YES, she had my sister's number). Meanwhile, the PLP MP Ms. Foggo is well known in the area and ALWAYS comes around-not just election time-and genuinely helps the people in the area. Ms. Foggo even helped my sister pack up and move house! When it comes time to casting her vote, who do you think my sister's going to vote for-the person who blew her off with no apology or the person who has been there for her when she needed her?

                As for me, I don't know who the hell the OBA candidate in my area even is (does the OBA even know?). Mr. Derrick Burgess is visible in my area and does a lot for the community. So who do you think I'll be voting for???

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                • Mad Dawg says:

                  You don't think the PLP all hate each others guts? Burgess was fired for having Scott in a choke- hold a month ir o ago. They hate each other.

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                • street wise says:

                  The plp is full of cliques... I’ve noticed it myself and heard it from people inside the plp. With all the grumblings and rumblings behind the scene in the plp - the big battle between good & evil - I expect they’ll implode.

                  The sooner the better....

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            • Cold As Ice says:

              You still haven't properly answered the question-how do you know with such conviction that the OBA can successfully lead Bermuda? They have ZERO experience in running a country while the PLP has 14 years experience. Why trust an inexperienced party with something as serious as running a country? Again, the only reason you can be so certain they're capable is because they are not 'new' at all...it's full of the same old people up front and behind the scenes-why not just be honest and call it for what it is? They're the UBP re-branded, repackaged, regurgitated, recycled... whatever you want to call it-it's the UBP!

              I think I'll go out there and commit all kinds of atrocities and treat people like crap and then come back and act the same way but call myself Cold As Snow and see how many people I can trick...

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              • street wise says:

                "They have ZERO experience in running a country while the PLP has 14 years experience ... " But you just said that the OBA were the old UBP - who have a hell of a lot more experience in running this Country SUCCESSFULLY than the amateurs in power now will ever have!

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        • pepper says:

          Ice, you say the O.B.A. have no experience !!!! what a joker you are, the present party in charge have changed their education minister how many times ? so our Premier basically fires pastor Bean , and then rehires him !!!! she seems desperate for candidates....you talk about repackaged version of the U.B.P. hey dude look at the repackaged U.B.P./P.L.P. case in point...Your tourism minister is the former leader of the U.B.P. he has his own agenda !!!!!!and I guess Maxwell Burgess who was a U.B.P member who made statements about the P.L.P. that some have recorded.....
          Ice, at least this new party are honest people who do not not need to rape us for their own gain.........

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        • pepper says:

          Ice, please pay attention,your present leaders have put us in debt that we will never recover from.....like I said before the O.B.A. have people to represent us....and not steal from us.......

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        • Kiddin me says:

          We know because it cannot get worse oops wait a second yes it can

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    • pepper says:

      And we are not buying what you are selling Ice.. but nice try though.....

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    • Hmmmmmmm says:

      It is his job to do what he is doing.

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  5. Shaking the Head says:

    @ Cold as Ice.
    Not disagreeing, but if I was the OBA I would not want to win the next election. Why win and have to take the steps that will be necessary to keep Bermuda afloat and then be blamed for it and lose the next election? After the PLP win this one, and that is most likely, they will degenerate into infighting and within about 2 years will split and disintegrate. Another election will be needed. If I was involved in politics, that is when you step in. Why win the next election and be blamed for taking the right actions for Bermuda that will by necessity be very unpopular?

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    • Head up high! says:

      Because sometimes you just have to do the right thing.

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      • Shaking the Head says:

        That's too radical for Bermuda! Maybe in a few generations.
        Sorry but I get too cynical. You are 100% right, but unfortunately it is unlikely to happen, even though for the sake of Bermuda it should.

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    • Cold As Ice says:

      So you're saying the PLP will do the following: get caught up with infighting, break up, gather the same old people together again, call it something else and expect the public to believe it's a brand new party?

      Where have I seen that one before? Hmmm...

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      • street wise says:

        The plp are already "caught up with infighting." SERIOUS infighting... including plp Ministers putting other plp Ministers into choke holds.

        Hope you'll like Burgess as your next sock puppet, I mean Premier.

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  6. Claudio says:

    WHAT IS THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT GOING TO DO ABOUT THE CURRENT DEBT SITUATION!!!!

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  7. Soooooo says:

    "The OBA (MPs and members) is full of business and home owners. Why aren’t they selling their businesses and homes and getting the hey out of here while the goings good if they think Bermuda is in such a bad state?"

    @cold as Ice.... This is a simple answer.... Bermuda is ther home, just like the rest of us they don't want to see their home fall. There are PLP ministers that I like, and OBA ministers that I like. I don't think either party is perfect. However, Bermuda cannot maintain this wasteful spending by our government. Bob's point here is a good one, in 2004 Bermuda as a country owed almost nothing. Now we are in debt over our heads. A billon dollars with very little to show for it! As a people we should ask does the present Government have our best interest at heart?

    Now the question is, how many PLP MP's are home owners ? And how many do the own?

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    • Cold As Ice says:

      Not only aren't they selling the homes and businesses that they have, they are acquiring MORE-that's my point. If they truly believed Bermuda was going down this slippery slope to Hell, why would they invest MORE money into Bermuda? I sure as hell wouldn't if I thought I was just throwing money away. They're investing in Bermuda because they know that investment is sound-so stop making it sound like we're not.

      I'm not saying that Bermuda doesn't have it's share of problems, but it annoys me when the OBA gets overly dramatic and tries to instil fear in people. Mr. Richards is purely speculating-there's no reason to believe that what happened with Cayman will happen with us. However, he knows that many people will see this and think "Oh my god-I can't afford to pay more in taxes!' and use that against the PLP. It's nothing but deceitful. The OBA should name their campaign 'Operation Dirty Tricks' because that's all they're doing.

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  8. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Premier Cos said “While Cayman has been forced to consolidate their finances, Bermuda has already taken plans to stabilise our fiscal position over the medium term.”

    REally? What did we do to stabilize our fiscal position? Oh, we've taken plans. Is that the same as taken action? If they actually have already put something in place, I am sure the whole island would like to know what they have done, as I, for one, have been very concerned about the apparent lack of a plan of action for reducing our debt.

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  9. longtail says:

    A lot of hot air above - only one Pastor Syl Hayward has actually hit the mark - who is Cog Cox trying to fool when she says "Bermuda has already taken plans to stabilise our fiscal position over the medium term"??? Is global warming her solution... for Bermuda will surely slip under the waves before the present level of debt can ever be paid off!!!!

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  10. Mike says:

    Forget the politics - if you can.

    The simple matter is that:

    1. Our income continues to fall.
    2. There are no indicators around, that suggest that is going to change.
    3. We have borrowed to pay salaries and other day to day expenses - as well as for capital projects. Salaries should be paid out of income - not borrowing.
    4. We will have to continue to borrow, to pay salaries.
    5. Eventually, both the capital and the interest on the borrowing, will become unsustainable.

    It cannot continue as is. Significant pain will be the result, at some stage.

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  11. Plain and Simple says:

    Well i see it like this you run the country like you run your house. If your house isn't in order and your bills exceed your income do you borrow more or do you tighten up on the purse strings?
    Both sides of the house and the political lines need to stop the rhetoric and whining about the silly comments each one makes and start coming up with immediate solutions. As this is not a party issue, nor one that is going to go away. It is a Bermuda issue that affects each and everyone of us. So call a truce and lets get the solutions on the chalk board and pick the ones that are going to make the most difference and come to an agreement on it all and put them into motion. Otherwise we are all going to go down with the ship.
    Some of my suggestions would be all MP's take a 20% pay cut, have to pay for the licensing and insuring of vehicles,and fueling them. So of the major infastructure projects need to be partnered with private local firms.
    All insurers of local health benefits try and sit down and talk to the hospital to reduce fees of the services they provide and stop taking a whopping salary and bonuses home every year.
    This will help stimulate the economy and make people start to spend in the community.

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  12. welldone says:

    Oh please Bob. More scare tactics. No solutions, no ideas. Couple months ago he was upholding the Cayman Islands as the be all and end all. Now he is warning us not to become the Cayman. This guy will say anything just for some press. It won't work Bob.

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    • Enforcer says:

      Mr. Richards,
      I am a swing voter, stop the rhetoric you are only confusing the situation. Yes we are in a bad state, however the Caymans didn't tax anyone and are in enough debt to warrant UK intervention. Mckeeva Bush is also fighting for his political life it's no different. Eventually the cost of doing business in the Caymans will become like ours unless the sell out. There are more expatriate workers down there then Caymanians so for all the expats that run there to work they will now think twice because their income would now be taxed.Stop vying for press space for the sake of it. Don't you remember what happened in the last election? Michael Dunkley flogged the BHC scandal and people got tired of hearing it, nothing came out of it and the PLP won the last election! Please focus on solutions. Get your newbies out there and and woo the voters. We already know what nonsense the PLP has done. Get with it!

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      • Ryan says:

        Just a fact check: Cayman's cost of business has always been more or less the same as ours (if not slighly more, in some cases). The introduction of payroll tax, however, will certainly change that.

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  13. terry says:

    Many here are shooting the messenger.
    Change is needed.

    If not it will bring a new meaning too "I told you so".

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  14. sigh says:

    Bob using his position to try and scare voters yet again. But he needs to remember what he said before.

    Should we do as cayman does? or should we not?

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    • Shaking the Head says:

      Maybe if you read the article you would understand what he said and it's not contradicting what he has previously said about Cayman. In this article he is warning about having the UK tell Cayman what to do if they don't do it themselves.

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    • street wise says:

      "Bob using his position to try and scare voters yet again." We are already scared sh!tless because of the plp... not because of Bob Richards. He's actually a breath of fresh air and a voice of sanity.

      You see, 'insanity' is defined as doing the same thing over and over, or using the same people over and over, expecting different results. That's the plp for ya!

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  15. onyoursidebda says:

    So, let's see here. The Caymans were given no warning. Do you expect Bermuda to receive any warning about the UK coming to "lean" on them?

    So Cayman goes and taxes the ones who are making the wheels turn. That's nice! Follow that lead and you'll see Bermuda devoid of IB and ex-pats.

    That leaves three choices: (i) Pay down the debt (ii) Don't pay it down and have the UK tell you what to do (iii) UK finds that the little Caymans experiment didn't work, so it tells Cayman, Bermuda to say goodbye and have their Independence so that they don't add further to the UK's threats from the IMF (which is where this all started from).

    Conclusion: This issue is no longer diplomatic (the FCO), but can now also be supported by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Run for the hills!

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    • Cleancut says:

      Briton will protect it's citizens and it's territory. We the people are collectively the voice of how this island is to be run and governed. We choose the best qualified people and a party to run this island. Whatever happens, if we go into poverty, if people leave, if Briton takes over our affairs, anything that happens, the only people to blame will be ourselves, the citizens of this Country, us Bermudians, we have the power to say yes, or no. How far do we want to go, or take the gamble before we say NO. 4 years is a hell of a long time!

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      • Concerned says:

        I don't want to imagine our situation if we were independent - look at the suffering in Haiti, those in Jamaica and other W.Indian Islands. God Help us to Help Ourselves.

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  16. street wise says:

    After literally dozens of presentations to the FCO from concerned Bermudians with regard to the path Bermuda has taken under Ewart and Paula, all the British have said is, "you're a mature Country (or should be); clean up your own mess!" So don't expect any help from GB.

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  17. Honestly says:

    OBA have NO plan! Have no mention on getting a handle on debt crisis. They are complainers n I really don't think they can or will do better than PLP or UBP any day. Just look @the smirk on his face when he speaks! Mmmm don't trust him!!!

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  18. street wise says:

    ...but you trust the PLP. How is that working out for you?

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